This past semester, I was lucky enough to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain. This allowed me to further explore the Spanish and Catalan cultures as well as that of other cities in Europe, including Lisbon, Copenhagen, Paris, London, Rome and more. Of course, the art, architecture, and history of all of these cities were unbelievable, but to be honest, the food was the main highlight of it all. I have collected a list of the top 25 foods and drinks I enjoyed while abroad, organized by city, to share and suggest these wonderful culinary experiences. They were truly some of the best food in Europe. 


1) Ricotta Oat Pancakes from Brunch & Cake

Claudia Haimovici

Yup, there's a pancake under all of that goodness. This fabulous pancake lies on top of bananas and honey and is sprinkled with a variety of fruits, coconut shreds, homemade granola, and a dollop of light ricotta. Did I mention it's wheat free and refined sugar-free? Count me IN. 

2) Sangria from Ayre Hotel Rooftop

Claudia Haimovici

Not only is this sangria superb with just the right amount of wine, fruit, brandy, and a dash of lemon soda to add a twist, this bar also boasts one of the best views of La Sagrada Familia in town. Nothing beats Sagrada and Sangria on a sunny day in BCN. This was the best Sangria I tried abroad.

3) Cake from Brunch & Cake

Claudia Haimovici

Ever crave some classic American cake? You know, a chocolate or vanilla cake smothered in delicious buttercream? Well, you can find just that, but infinitely better, at Brunch & Cake. After my friends had all left and I had an extra day in Barcelona before going home, I decided I was going to treat myself and have two delicious cake slices for dinner. Yup, not nutritious at all, but sometimes you just got to do you. And let me tell you, I do not regret those cookies and cream and vanilla cake slices one bit.

4) Pasta from Da Greco

Claudia Haimovici

Da Greco is truly a one of a kind restaurant. Not only is it Beyonce & Jay Z's favorite restaurant, it also has a booth for FC Barcelona players when they come. You feel really special and exclusive when you walk in, for you have to knock on the door to gain access. Furthermore, the food is superb, it's surprisingly not super pricey for being so bougie, and its concept is amazing; for each dish everyone orders, the table gets a sample of that dish to try. I really don't know why more restaurants do this—it's brilliant. Da Greco is one of those places where it's so hard to decide what you want to order, so it's perfect you can try whatever your fellow table members get too. 

5) Green Smoothie from Flax & Kale

Claudia Haimovici

Pictured here are my friends and our unreal smoothies from a healthy restaurant in Barcelona called Flax & Kale. Flax & Kale was my go-to spot in Barcelona for a bite, due to their healthy and nutritious options ranging from chia puddings, tuna poke & quinoa salad, açaí bowls, to my favorite, the refreshing Green Smoothie. This smoothie contains water, coconut milk, kale, melon, apple, spinach, basil, almond butter, flax seeds, and agave nectar, and is the perfect mid-day or post-hangover pick me up.

6) Healthy Pancakes from Flax & Kale 

Claudia Haimovici

These were my go-to staple at Flax & Kale. These healthy pancakes are made with red quinoa, soy milk, eggs, vanilla, olive oil, blueberry soy yogurt, fresh blueberries, and maple syrup. It was the perfect warm, filling, yet nutritious breakfast before a big day at school. Flax & Kale has large wood communal tables for customers to do work at. I would come to Flax & Kale before a test and study for a few hours while eating these delicious pancakes and a smoothie. There's no better place to study before an exam. 


7) Cocktails + Chill at Marina Beach Club

Claudia Haimovici

This spot was a sure favorite of my friends and mine. We spent a lot of time here on our weekend trip to Valencia. Go for the drinks and the good vibes. This beach club is all-white, has walls of glass, overlooks the Mediterranean, and has fire drinks. What could be better than that? My favorite cocktail was the aperol spritz which consists of prosecco, a bit of orange liquor for that citrus tang (aperol), and a splash of soda water. 


8) Tomato, Garlic, Oregano, & Basil Pizza from Franco Manca

Claudia Haimovici

I know one wouldn't necessarily think of London as the place in Europe to eat pizza, but let me tell you, this spot is incredible. Franco Manca specializes in slow-rising sourdough pizza and properly sourced, small supplier, seasonal ingredients. My friend and I stuck to simple pizzas; I went with the tomato, oregano, & garlic pizza and my friend went with the classic margherita pizza... and boy, were they good. Highly recommend.

9) Hot Chocolate with Handmade Torched Marshmallow from Chin Chin

Claudia Haimovici

When I say this is the best hot chocolate I've ever tried, I'm not exaggerating. Made from top-notch Valrhona chocolate and topped with a torched, toasty and fluffy marshmallow, this cup of goodness didn't fail to keep me yearning for another. 

10) High Tea at Sketch

Claudia Haimovici

When I tell you that this was possibly my best culinary experience as a whole abroad, I mean it. Sketch is a trendy, quirky, and upscale high tea spot, with amazing decor, a plethora of teas that come in cool test tubes, unlimited food and tea for a fixed price, and an otherworldly washroom where there are egg-shaped pods that play the sound of peaceful birds chirping. The tea room serves these towers of delicious accompaniments including assorted finger sandwiches, gourmet desserts such as the Berriolette Marshmallow, White Peach & Verbena Cheesecake, and Caramel & Chocolate eclair. Not to mention, their scones are to LIVE for—best scones I've had in my life. You can choose between a classic scone or a raisin scone. Both are amazing. My friends and I seriously spent 3+ hours here just enjoying the ambiance, sipping tea, and eating delicious food. This spot may be pricey, but the experience is worth every pound. 


11) Morning Plate from Mad & Kaffe 

Claudia Haimovici

Copenhagen is known for its Hygge vibes. For those who don't know what Hygge means, it signifies a sense of coziness and kinship with others; think candles, blankets, hot cocoa or warm libations, a crackling fireplace, and amazing brunch. A Copenhagen brunch staple is Mad & Kaffe. Here, they serve delicious breakfast boards. You can choose from 3 to 7 items of your board, from sections including Greens, Dairy, Bakery, Meat & Fish, and Treat of the Day. I went with the avocado with beetroot hummus, almonds, chili oil and herbs, 1/2 pink grapefruit with tarragon sugar, blueberry yogurt (soy) w. müesli and berries, scrambled eggs with chives and fried champignons, and bacon. To no surprise, my breakfast board didn't cease to amaze. 

12) Prosciutto-Arugula Pizza from Mother

Claudia Haimovici

This was yet another amazing pizza I had abroad and not in Italy. Mother makes delicious sourdough pizza, Neapolitan style. Their pizza consists of "a thin base with a puffed-up pillowy edge, blistered from the intense heat of the wood-fired oven. The centre remains a little soft." I had a margherita pizza topped with fresh prosciutto, arugula, and pesto drizzle. They were a very accommodating restaurant as well; despite being a very popular spot, they found a way to accommodate a group of 8 of us.  I also loved the area of Copenhagen the restaurant was in. It felt very young, hip, relaxed, and trendy.


13) The Captain's Dinner from Bolenius

Claudia Haimovici

When I met my parents in Amsterdam for the weekend, I was lucky enough to be treated to a truly exceptional culinary experience at Bolenius. Situated in South Amsterdam, in a new complex of modern office buildings, Bolenius uses locally grown and quality ingredients to create innovative twists on traditional Dutch cuisine. This steak was my favorite course, and truly one of the best pieces of steak I have ever had. The ingredients are listed above, and I think your mouth will water just imagining yourself tasting it. 

14) Miso Soup from the Brasserie at Conservatorium 

Claudia Haimovici

BIG miso soup girl. This miso soup from Hotel Conservatorium Brasserie & Lounge was fabulous. Unfortunately, they don't have it on their menu any more due to seasonal changes, but they always have a wonderful line up of delicious cuisine from both Amsterdam and across the world. Check out their menu to see what they have currently. The hotel is a modern renovation of an old music conservatory. The renovation was done so tastefully. It is also right across the street from the Van Gogh Museum, so it's the perfect place to stop for a post-museum bite.

15) Homemade Granola from Bakers & Roasters

Claudia Haimovici

This is my favorite spot for an unreal brunch in Amsterdam. It's Australian "Brekkie" inspired, with menu items ranging from Huevos Rancheros, Banana Nut Bread French Toast, Homemade Granola, to Raspberry Chia Pavlova Pudding. Like the Brasserie at the Conservatorium, Bakers & Roasters changes their menu seasonally. However, I can promise you that whatever new menu items are introduced during the season you visit, they will be spectacular. I got the homemade granola this time, and it did not fail to amaze. 


16) Nutella & Cinnamon Sugar Trdelník from Good Food Coffee & Bakery

Claudia Haimovici

Prague's classic pastry is called a Trdelnik. A traditional Trdelnik consists of rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar and walnut mix. It's delicious in itself, but there are also many amazing variations of the pastry. I got my Trdelnik rolled in cinnamon sugar, sprinkled with coconut shreds, and with Nutella spread inside. Boy, was it something else. My friends who studied abroad in Prague all told me that the best (and their favorite) spot for Trdelnik in the whole city was Good Food Coffee & Bakery.


17) Pasteis de Belem from Pasteis de Belem 

Claudia Haimovici

This famous Portuguese egg pastry, dusted with cinnamon, could quite likely be the best dessert I tasted abroad. Crunchy on the outside and eggy on the inside, with notes of vanilla and cinnamon...this dessert truly knocked it out of the park. 

18) Tuna Tartare from Time Out Market

Claudia Haimovici

Time Out Market is a food hall located in Lisbon, Portugal adjacent to El Rio Tejo, a river feeding into the Atlantic Ocean. The market takes all of the best of Lisbon's culinary excellence and puts them under one roof. Whether it's the best steak, best hamburger, or best sushi in the city, it's all there. Pictured above is a wonderfully fresh tuna tartare I got from the Tartar-ia, a tartar stand that has options ranging from meat, to fish, to even veggie tartar. 


19) Squid Ink Pasta from Ten Con Ten

Claudia Haimovici

This was my favorite restaurant we went to in Madrid. Not only was the food mouthwatering, but also it was so trendy. When I walked in I could tell it was the spot all of the most-posh Spaniards liked to hang out. This squid ink pasta is topped with fresh shellfish, freshly chopped tomatoes, and scallions, and boasts a garlic and white wine flavor.


20) Sandwich from All'antico Vinaio

Claudia Haimovici

Pictured here is my friend Sophia and our unreal sandwiches from All'Antico Vinao in Florence, Italy. Soph and I had been dreaming of the day we would finally consume these sandwiches, and boy, did they exceed our already high expectations. I got the summer special, which consists of fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, prosciutto, and their renowned black truffle spread on hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven bread. I would go to Florence for the sole purpose of eating these sandwiches, no joke. Hands down, this was the best sandwich I've ever had in my life.  

21) Truffle Everything from Osteria delle Tre Panche

Claudia Haimovici

Another Florentine restaurant my friends and I were excited for was Osteria Delle Tre Panche. Our friends who were abroad in Florence had highly recommended it. The restaurant specializes in truffles. It was delicious. We got a plate of homemade potato chips topped with shaved truffles as an appetizer and I got the noodles with truffle as my main course. Truffle Overload? I don't think so. 

22) Gelato from La Strega Nocciola

Claudia Haimovici

This was the best gelato I had abroad. This place is a hidden gem. Two of the most well-known gelato spots in Florence are Gelateria Dei Neri and Gelateria Santa Trinita, but I felt La Strega Nocciola actually tasted superior to the both. I got pistachio & stracciatella (milk-based ice cream filled with fine shavings of chocolate). Also, the man working inside the nice shop happened to be the owner. He was very sincere and one could tell he took his job very seriously. Furthermore, a tell-tale sign gelato is good is when there are protective caps over the pots of gelato, instead of big, showy swirls of colorful gelato popping out of the pots. La Strega obviously had covers over their gelato. 


23) Pizza from Dar Poeta

Claudia Haimovici

Although Franco Manca and Mother both boasted fabulous pizza, Dar Poeta in Rome took the cake. Pictured here is my friend Alexa and her burrata pizza. I got my classic choice; margherita pizza topped with freshly sliced prosciutto and arugula. We also can't forget the NUTELLA CALZONE we got at the end of our meal; we got two larges for the table, and yup, we finished both. Soph and I loved Dar Poeta so much that we walked over 2 miles from the train station during out layover just to get more before flying back to Barcelona.


24) Homemade Seafood Pasta from Mystery Restaurant Overlooking the Sea

Claudia Haimovici

This was the most high quality and delicious pasta that I tasted abroad. As one may guess by looking, it was homemade pasta with clams and mussels in a light garlic and white wine sauce. This restaurant also has delicious fresh bread and olive oil. Although it is considered very American to ask for a side of parmesan to dip your bread in post-olive-oil-dip, you won't regret it. It pains me that I have not been able to track down the exact restaurant we went to. I will give you a few clues from my memory, however; if you are looking at Positano from the Mediterranean, it is a bit up the hill overlooking the town on the right side. The restaurant is on the top floor of a beautiful 4-star hotel, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. 


Israeli Salad and Hummus from La La Land 

Claudia Haimovici

So Tel Aviv isn't exactly in Europe, but it's close. After my classes ended in Barcelona, I visited my best friend who was studying abroad in Tel Aviv, Israel before going home. Not only are Tel Aviv's people, beaches, neighborhoods, and all around vibes amazing, the food is too. La La Land is one of my go-to favorite spots on the beach. Their hummus and Israeli salad are to LIVE for, and that's just what I got. We actually consumed at least two full plates of hummus. After trying Israeli hummus, you will never go back; no U.S. hummus will ever suffice. 

My experience abroad was amazing and one I will cherish for the rest of my life. I hope you consider trying these amazing foods and drinks while in Europe and beyond. I would love to hear feedback or any new travel food suggestions. Send me a DM on my food Instagram (@claud_eats) if you want to get in touch about this. Happy traveling, and happy eating.